What a great day to be in Boston. The sun is out, there’s a little chill, but barely a breeze through the city. I took the day off from work so I can be here to ride to Copley and watch the finish line this afternoon. All in all it’s quite a special day to be in Boston. There’s an energy in the air all weekend that is just infectious. It’s amazing to see a community come out by the thousands to support complete strangers running the race. It was three years ago on marathon Monday that I turned a corner in the way I live my life. I didn’t run anywhere near 26.2 miles, but I did run 3 miles for the first time, which was quite the accomplishment for me then, and it changed my life.
During the first winter months of ’05, I had started walking and jogging at the gym on a treadmill with varying success. Most days I would walk for 15 minutes, jog (quite slowly) for 5, and then walk for 15 minutes. That Patriots Day morning, my friend Amy called and asked if I wanted to get out and go for a run to the river. I was pretty self conscious about my running skills, especially on the one day of the year where the best runners in the world were in town. The sun was shining, and that energy helped me overcome my insecurities, so Amy and I took a casual jog to the Charles. From that day on, I refused to go back onto a treadmill, I began getting up before the sun to get out before work or school all summer, and as the winter approached I bought gloves, spandex, and a windbreaker so I could keep running outside in the ice and freezing cold. I was hooked. A slow 3 miles three days a week slowly turned into 5 days a week, and by the following summer, I was running 6 days and averaging 35 miles a week. By this point I had dropped from 240lbs to 170lbs.
I still run, but usually only on the weekends. My new job has put quite the constraints on my time, and I began biking to work last July so that I could at least get some exercise while getting to work, rather than getting up even earlier to run and then ride the T. Over the past year, my athletic association has shifted from being a runner who bikes to get to work/school to being a cyclist who runs in my free time on the weekends. I don’t spend as much time thinking about when it’s new sneaker time or what a new jogging route will be, instead I’ve begun researching bike maintainence and the growth of Boston into a stronger biking city. I hope that I can forever balance these two persons; each coming to the front at different times in my life as they have shifted over the past three years.